Exclusive: Year-end bonuses under Reed cost Atlanta taxpayers $811,000

May 03, 2018

Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s year-end bonuses and gifts cost taxpayers $811,000, or nearly $300,000 more than previously reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News.

The additional spending falls into two general categories: additional employees who received bonuses or awards that were not on the original list provided by the city of Atlanta, and bonus awards that cost taxpayers more because additional city money was added so that public dollars covered taxes.

The AJC and Channel 2 had previously reported that the bonus and some contest awards were “grossed up” to cover taxes. But the AJC and Channel 2 obtained a new spreadsheet from the city detailing the additional costs and bonuses through a Georgia Open Records Act request.

Bonuses and awards handed out last year by former Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration were much more than previously known — $811,287. The amount far exceeds the previously reported figure of $518,000 because more city employees than previously known received payments, and many of the awards were increased over the stated amounts so that taxpayers, not the individuals receiving the money, paid the taxes. Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The additional staff compensation amounts to a 56 percent increase in the cost to taxpayers from what was previously known.

Covering the taxes was a significant expense.

For example, each of the five $15,000 bonuses paid to Reed’s highest-ranking cabinet members actually cost taxpayers $21,260. The 26 $10,000 bonuses awarded by Reed cost the public $14,805 each when the tax burden was added on.

Check back to AJC.com and myAJC.com later today for story updates.